Peoria residents may be paying a new storm water utility fee next year.
As the Peoria City Council plans its budget for 2018, it faces a much larger hurdle that could amount to more than an entire year’s budget. The city must eliminate the dumping of raw sewage into the Illinois River during heavy rain storms. That happens because older parts of the city have sewers that carry rain and waste together.
The cost to fix the problem could be as high as $230 million, although the US EPA hasn’t yet approved the city’s proposal. City Manager Patrick Urich says 25 percent of that work would be done in the first five years.
"It would be some pretty hefty bond issuances in order to spend that kind of money to get that type of construction work done, and then you’re going to have to pay for those bonds."
He says they envision sewer fees paying for the capital construction, and the operation and maintenance could be covered by the storm water utility.
Residents already pay a city sewer fee. If council agrees, the proposed stormwater utility fee for residential homes would be eight dollars a month beginning next June 1.